It’s a Wonderful Life Mile Square Theater on demand through December $25. A live radio play by Joe Landry, directed by Kevin R. Free, based on the screenplay of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 play starring Jimmy Stewart as a man who gets to see how much he matters. Audio description and closed captions are available.
Kris Kringle The Musical offers 25 Christmas gifts that can be shared with everyone you love! Beginning December 1st, the viewer will be led through a virtual Advent Calendar door to enjoy a different part of the story, with bonus videos, including a Spanish version of one of the show’s most popular songs ‘My North Star.’https://www.youtube.com/embed/zx5WAUdeZfw
Christmas Day will share the most wonderful gift of all: a full-length production of Kris Kringle The Musical.
What’s more — all of the videos are free and fun and can be gifted to family, friends, and loved ones!
Discover what happens when an evil toy company CEO crosses paths with a young, jobless toymaker whose family name carries a curse with the power to destroy Christmas. From the top of the world in the North Pole, Kris Kringle (Kyle Sherman) teams up with Santa (Jason Simon) and Mrs. Claus (Kim Crosby), the beautiful Evelyn Noel (Amy Weaver), a band of hilarious apprentices and elves, and magical toys to remind us what Christmas is really all about: love, hope, and finding a family in the most unlikely of places.
The musical features an underlying story, book and additional lyrics by Maria Ciampi, with lyrics and music by Tim Janis and Angelo Natalie. Jaimie Selke directs with musical direction by Randy Glass.
2500 Productions has coordinated a fully remote casting, rehearsal, and recording process.
Roosevelt: Charge the Bear The Roustabouts Theatre Co. is presenting the world premiere of Roosevelt: Charge the Bear by Marni Freedman and Phil Johnson starring Mr. Johnson in a virtual filmed presentation as part of their fourth season.
The production is available on-demand through December 13.
Phil Johnson stars in this new one-man show about President Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most fascinating people of the 20th century. In this gripping 90-minute show, the new president grapples with the issues that would define his term: taking on the trusts, trying to get his message across to the people, and his colossal challenge – the coal strike of 1902. Miners and others were killed, tensions were high, and — the biggest threat of all — innocent people were at risk of freezing to death that winter. This American president dealt with these in his own relentless energetic way. He was a great man, a great American, and Johnson brings this multi-faceted character to life in a truly riveting, energetic, and passionate performance.
Directed by Rosina Reynolds, the design team includes Tony Cucuzzella (Set Design/Props), Matt Lescault-Wood (Sound Design), Joel Britt (Lighting Design), Jordyn Smiley (Costume Design), Ross Stewart (Costume Design Assistant). Jessamyn Foster was the Stage Manager. Michael Brueggemeyer was the Director of Photography/Editor. Rebecca Crigler, General Manager of The Roustabouts, produced the drama, following SAG, Federal, State, and local COVID-19 practices and protocols.
As with other productions by The Roustabouts, in-depth talkbacks will be featured as part of the online presentation, including looks at Roosevelt’s problematic handling of the Brownsville, TX raid, and Roosevelt’s moment with Booker T. Washington, which will feature local diversity experts.
2:30pm La Femme Theatre Productions: The Night of the Iguana The show will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (Netflix’s “Hollywood”) as Reverend Shannon, Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Maxine, Roberta Maxwell (Broadway’s Summer and Smoke) as Judith Fellowes, Tony nominee, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s Choir Boy) as Nonno, and Jean Lichty (Off-Broadway’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady) as Hannah, with Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Jitney, American Psycho) as Jake, Carmen Berkeley (Off-Broadway’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) as Charlotte, Eliud Kauffman (Roundabout Theatre’s 72 Miles to Go) as Hank, Julio Macias (Netflix’s “On My Block”) as Pancho, Stephanie Schmiderer (No Exit, The Human Voice) as Frau Fahrenkopf, Bradley James Tejeda (Broadway’s The Inheritance) as Pedro, and John Hans Tester (Amazon’s ”Hunters” ) as Herr Fahrenkopf.
In Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana, a defrocked clergyman encounters inside disturbances amid outside disturbances during one stormy night at the Costa Verde Hotel in Acapulco as the world prepares for World War II. After four women of different ages and backgrounds, along with a 97-year-old poet, engage in the clergyman’s spiritual struggles, their lives leap dramatically forward. And the catalytic, defrocked clergyman makes it through the night.
2:30 Old Vic: Three Kings is back by popular demand. Performed and streamed live from The Old Vic stage to 72 countries across the globe in Sep 2020.
When Patrick is eight years old his absent father returns unexpectedly and in a brief but memorable encounter, sets him the challenge of ‘The Three Kings’. Years later – recalling that meeting, and the revelations that followed – Patrick traces the events of his father’s life – and takes us on a journey of grandiose plans, aching disappointments and audacious self delusion.
By turns, hilarious and heartbreaking, Three Kings is about fathers and sons, the gifts and burdens of inheritance, and the unfathomable puzzle of human relationships.
4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Alex Barylski (@Alexander-Barylski) and Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1).
6pm: Here We Are Theatre for One Every Thursday starting today, Christine Jones’ company will offer one-on-one performances of “micro-plays” by the following eight playwrights: Jaclyn Backhaus, Lydia R. Diamond, Lynn Nottage, Stacey Rose, Nikkole Salter, DeLanna Studi, Regina Taylor, and Carmelita Tropicana. Each audience member signs up for a specific date and time and then gets to see at least one play, performed live! You need to sign up here in advance and to learn details.
6:30pm: Antigone in Ferguson Theater of War Productions A reading of Sophocle’s play about a teenage girl who wishes to bury her brother over the objections of her king, as a prompt to talk about race and police violence.
6:30pm: The Center For Fiction’s Annual Awards Benefit and First Novel Fete, With Laura Benanti and Austin Scott is honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to fiction this year. This year’s benefit will be free for anyone who wishes to attend.
Actress, comedian and author Yvonne Orji hosts with a performance by Tony winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, My Fair Lady). Ethan Hawke and Ta-Nehisi Coates serve as presenters that evening, with additional appearances by Lucy Boynton, and more.
Earlier that evening, The Center For Fiction also hosts The First Novel Fete, a celebratory cocktail hour, beginning at 6:30 PM ET, that highlights each of the seven finalists for The First Novel Prize with excerpts performed by actors including Broadway’s Austin Scott (Girl From The North Country, Hamilton), Jen Richards, Marin Ireland, Leon Addison Brown, Eisa Davis and Morven Christie. There will also be a fun round of live literary trivia games and a chance to win prizes.
Click here to register online (for a suggested donation of $20).
Honorees include author and screenwriter, James McBride, and Executive Vice President of Nonfiction Programming for Showtime Networks, Vinnie Malhotra for The Good Lord Bird and Chris Jackson, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of One World, a newly relaunched imprint of Random House.
7pm: Lockdown Rattlestick through December 7. The reading of Cori Thomas’ play inspired by her conversations with people serving life sentences at San Quentin Prison will reunite cast members and director Kent Gash.
7pm: I Miss The Music—Broadway Salutes the Erie Playhouse as over 40 Broadway stars come together for a virtual benefit concert.
The free concert will broadcast via Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the Erie Playhouse website. Donations are encouraged to support the institution.
Hosted by Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, the concert fundraiser features an all-star lineup of names from Broadway and tv/film, including performances by Tony Award winners Beth Leavel and Alice Ripley. Cast members from Hamilton, Frozen, Wicked, Hadestown, Ain’t Too Proud, Beautiful, Come From Away, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, and more will also drop by.
In addition, the night features special appearances by Iain Armitage, Tamara Tunie, Paige Davis, Stephen Schwartz. Erie natives Nick Adams, Eric Sciotto, Cris Groenendaal, Julie Craig, and David Green will all make appearances, as well as a special performance featuring over 40 local high school students.
7pm: Lileana Blain-Cruz in Conversation: On Directing at LCT By Lincoln Center Theater. Lincoln Center Theater continues its LCT Spotlight series with Lileana Blain-Cruz in Conversation: On Directing at LCT. The newly appointed resident director will chat with Saheem Ali, who helmed LCT’s The Rolling Stone. Machel Ross (assistant director of the LCT3’s Marys Seacole) hosts.
7pm: Old Friends | New Works By Manhattan Theatre Club. Tony nominees Laura Linney, Jeremy Pope, and Edie Falco will star in Manhattan Theatre Club’s Old Friends | New Works: A Benefit for MTCDecember 3. Joining the trio are Simon Stephens, Elizabeth Strout, and Jason Michael Webb.
The free virtual event will be streamed at 7 PM ET on MTC’s YouTube; donations of any amount are encouraged to benefit the Off-Broadway non-profit theatre company.
Old Friends | New Works features stage favorites and MTC alums performing new material written specifically for the event. The evening will also include an online auction with Fiona Davis, Lisa Towbin, and Susan Winter serving as co-chairs.
7pm: Wish Upon the North Star Hamilton star Miguel Cervantes and his wife Kelly will co-host a free virtual fundraiser to benefit Regional Hospice’s North Star, a planned residential hospice space dedicated to end-of-life care for babies and children.
The couple lost their daughter Adelaide in 2019 following her diagnosis with epilepsy and continue to serve as advocates for research about the disease, in addition to leading parental support efforts.
Cervantes is also slated to perform his song “‘Til the Calm Comes,” with piano accompaniment by Tamar Greene, who played the role of George Washington alongside Cervantes in the New York production of Hamilton. Cervantes had played the title role for three years in Chicago before taking over the role on Broadway in March prior to the theatre shutdown.
A performance by Jon Davis and silent auction will also raise funds for North Star.
7:30pm: Verdi’s Macbeth The plot may be focused on the eponymous Scottish king, but Verdi’s high-flying take on Shakespeare’s drama boasts three powerhouse arias for Lady Macbeth, making it a signature showpiece for divas at the very top of their game. Drawing equally on showstopping vocal virtuosity and deftly crafted drama, Verdi’s version of this tale of intrigue and power will keep you on the edge of your seat for all four razor-sharp acts.
8pm: Time Stands Still Spotlight on Plays. Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies’ play about a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Laura Linney, Alicia Silverstone, Eric Bogosian, and Brian d’Arcy James return to the roles they originated on Broadway.
8pm: Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol. available through December 20th.. A live-streamed performance of Dickens classic with hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes, and a live original score.
8:30pm: Community Voices: Comedy Writing By The Old Globe Crowd-favorite playwriting workshop Community Voices will premiere Community Voices: Comedy Writing. Hosted by Katherine Harroff, participants will work on comedic performance.
Have You Begun Dreaming of It Yet? (PART I)
What else – White Christmas, of course!
December is jampacked with great entertainment, so I hope you’re caught up on your shopping, because there are lots of treats for you this month. Here’s a stockingful of events that you shouldn’t miss.
If you’re looking for probably the most glamorous gift of the season, drop by Doyle Galleries to at least look at The Ellin and Irving Berlin Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Bidding is estimated to begin at $200,000 at the December 14th auction.
Jason Henderson kicked off the month reprising his highly acclaimed latest venture, Getting to Noël You at Don’t Tell Mama on the 4th. If you missed this evening, don’t worry – he’s back by popular demand—same time, same location—on January 24th and February 11th. It’s quite a curious and fast-paced ride he takes us on, and it’s one not to be missed.
The York Theatre has delivered a mitzvah–just in time for Christmas. Billed as a Musical Comedy of Biblical Proportions, The Jerusalem Syndrome certainly lived up to expectations. You must see it to discover the meaning of the title, which is fact, not fiction.
While this has been in development for several years, the skilled midwifery of the York brought forth a little bundle of joy that had the audience laughing at its humor and touched by its message. Sensitive to the current Middle East conflict, the York bravely went ahead with the project, which affords everyone a chance to marvel and understand the miracle that is Israel.
It’s running through the end of the year—visit the York website https://yorktheatre.org for more info.
Urban Stages has announced its “2023 Winter Rhythms” series, the award-winning music festival at Urban Stages Theater (259 West 30th Street – between 7th & 8th Avenues).
It began with a gala on December 6 entitled “Nights at the Algonquin: A Celebration of The Oak Room Supper Club,” featuring many legendary cabaret performers including Natalie Douglas, Boots Maleson, Steve Ross, and Daryl Sherman. Hosted by Michael Colby (author of The Algonquin Kid), the evening began with a champagne and wine reception followed by the show at 7:30 with a post-show gathering to follow.
On Sunday, December 10 at 3pm “Created at the Algonquin: Songs from Musicals Written at The Algonquin,” featuring performances by Craig Bierko, Shana Farr, Jenn Gambatese, Anita Gillette, Jon Peterson, Steve Ross and others. The program will be directed by Sara Louise Lazarus with Michael Lavine directing the music.
As part of the festivities, Shana Farr will reprise her glorious Barbara Cook tribute on the 16th. Ice Cream,. Anyone?
Everyone’s favorite is Karen Mason, whose show Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! is one night only at Birdland at 7 pm on the 11th.
Stay tuned for Part II for Christmas romance, tradition, and good will!
Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer
As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:
- Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
- KT Sullivan Cabaret: December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
- Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
- The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists
A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.
Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection
My View: IT’S TOUGH TO SWING LIKE FRANK….THIS TOUGH GUY CAN…..ROBERT DAVI
The atmosphere in The Boca Black Box was akin to The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas last night as movie/TV star Robert Davi (140 films and counting) swaggered onto the stage to sing and swing the songs of Frank Sinatra. His show, titled “My Kind Of Town” had all the elements of a Sinatra event thanks to Davi’s personality which radiates the same mystique and musical excitement that ‘Ol Blue Eyes” possessed. Robert Davi’s performance was not a great actor acting a role… this was Robert Davi, a great actor who started his career as a trained singer thrilling an audience singing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, but with Davi’s own magnetism and vocal prowess. I don’t know if Sinatra ever played Boca Raton but Robert Davi turned Boca into ‘his kind of town last night” as he brought the musical substance and charisma of “the chairman of the board” to South Florida.
Davi’s had a long and distinguished career in show business and this Boca Black Box audience got to see a lot of the musical part of it last night. The tough guy movie actor sang the music of Frank swinging it “his way”
About Robert Davi:
Robert Davi, an American actor, singer, writer, and producer has played the roles of main villain and drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill. He was FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Proflier. He played a Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in Die Hard. Davi played the opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The goonies, Hans Zarba in Son of the Pink Panther and Al Torres in Showgirls. His album, Davi Sings Sinatra—On The Road to Romance, hit #6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas.
Adrienne Haan Celebrates Irving Berlin and Christmas at the Triad
This Christmas take a big scoop of classic Irving Berlin songs, have them sung by the ever sparkling Adrienne Haan, sprinkle in the voice of her musical director, Richard Danley and you have a festive feast for your ears. I have seen a number of Ms Haan’s shows at the Triad and each one includes something that makes it a step above a typical cabaret show. The first time I saw her there was an actual tuba on stage; the second a number of costume changes, other shows had duets with guest stars or choreography; this time hearing the singing voice of her long-time accompanist and musical director, Mr Danley. The two have bantered in the past but in this show Richard shows his vocal and comedic side with songs like I Paid My Income Tax Today and How About a Cheer for the Navy.
Of course Adrienne blew her audience away with her renditions of There’s No Business Like Show Business and Blue Skies; but, hearing the usually silent man behind the piano was a surprise to me like Teller taking the stage from Penn and his baritone was as shocking as hearing the bumbling Gomer Pyle turn into the rich voiced singer, Jim Nabors. The two of them created a wonderful celebration of Mr Berlin’s musical catalogue with a combination of solos and duets.
Entering the theater, as the holiday season begins, and a show title of White Christmas at the Triad Theater, one would expect to hear 90 minutes of Christmas songs; but, read the second line on the program and you realize that it is really a celebration of the man who wrote one of the most recognizable holiday songs of all time, White Christmas. Not only will we hear the music of Mr Berlin but we will get some insight into his life as Adreinne celebrates his 130 year anniversary of his arrival in the United States. From Europe to Broadway to Hollywood; in military songs, love songs or holiday classics the trio of Haan, Danley and Berlin take us on a historical journey of a life well lead.
Opening the show in a festive seasonal outfit ready for a New Years Eve celebration with “ice” dangling from her ears and around her wrist Adriene introduces us to some well-known Berlin tunes Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Let Me Sing and I’m Happy. One of the treats of her shows is that she does a lot of research into the music she sings and she has done her homework telling us about the life of Israel Beillin, immigrant from Imperial Russia, the country now known as Belarus. He only spoke Yiddish when he landed on Ellis Island so Ms Haan sings Ofyn Pripetchik in his native tongue and then follows with Berlin’s Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor – a tribute to that wonderful Statue in NY harbor. She finishes this section of the show with Marie from Sunny Italy which gives her the opportunity to show her strong vocal ability with a long strong belt of a song.
Berlin came to America in 1893 at the age of 5 which means he was drafted into the army during World War 1, where he wrote the famous anthem Oh How I Hate to Get up in the Morning and which Ms Haan sang in military uniform. A number of tunes that Berlin wrote for both World Wars followed as the two singers alternated songs and Adrienne gave us some more tidbits about the composer. The song I Paid My Income Tax Today sung by Mr Danley is actually owned by the IRS. (I wonder is THEY have to pay tax on the royalties they earn when it is sung.)
Ms Haan is a proud Luxembourger and as life imitates art, or vice versa, Mr Berlin’s Broadway and film musical, Call Me Madam is based on the life of Perle Mesta who was the Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1949-1953. Haan again showed she’s the singer with the zinger when she sang The Hostess with the Mostes’ on the Ball from that show as well as the tribute to the fictitious country in that show Lichtenburg. As far as art leading to reality it is interesting to note that Mr Berlin’s home, 17 Beekman Place, was purchased by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1990 a year after Berlin’s death.
Berlin wrote over 1,500 songs in his 60 years of composing so to highlight all of the numbers Haan sings is too long a list; but, the jaunty I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning, They Say that Falling in Love is Wonderful, Cheek to Cheek and Blue Skies show her range of interpreting music. The love song Always was a particularly important song to Berlin and Haan did it justice as this song was written to Berlin’s wife, Ellin Mackay, on their wedding day.
Of all the show tunes, patriotic anthems, and love songs performed in this show I have to give a special shout out to the Haan/Danley duet of You’re Just in Love. I have seen it sung by a number of Broadway stars, Merman, Stritch, Donald O’Connor and Larry Blyden, (and for the newer generation, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana) in the past; but I’ve never seen the male singer play the piano at the same time. WOW!
It is the holiday season, remember, so Ms Haan’s third costume change is a beautiful red gown that fits the time and she finished the evening with the traditional songs of the Yuletide spirit, including Happy Holiday, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm and of course White Christmas.
This is not a traditional Christmas carol singing show but Ms Haan never is one to follow the norm. This was a wonderful tribute to Mr Berlin with added surprises featuring the excellent wit and talents of both Adrienne and her musical director and accompanist of 22 years, the unsung (until this show) singer Mr Richard Danley.
A second show is at the Triad on Tuesday, December 5 at 7PM. It will get you smiling and into the holiday spirit.
Events For December
Boop! Leaps To Life In Chicago
Countdown to Christmas Day: Map The Song Of Your Life
Have You Begun Dreaming of It Yet? (PART I)
Romantic and Meaningful Love Quotes For Her To Help Win Her Heart
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
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Cabaret5 days ago
Adrienne Haan Celebrates Irving Berlin and Christmas at the Triad
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My View: IT’S TOUGH TO SWING LIKE FRANK….THIS TOUGH GUY CAN…..ROBERT DAVI